Storm lock Dale Finucane said his side’s return to the upper echelon of completion rates had played a major role in their unbeaten start to 2019.
Melbourne finished with the third-worst set completion in 2018 but that result was an aberration, according the NRL.com Stats.
Since 2013, the Storm have finished with the best completion rate in the NRL three times (2014-16). They were also third-best in 2013 and sixth in 2017.
Last year’s inconsistency went a long way towards explaining some of the coaching-box outbursts from coach Craig Bellamy. Melbourne still made the grand final, but many matches that would otherwise have been comfortable wins were reduced to arm wrestles.
With their 2019 completion rate (80 per cent) back to where Bellamy would like it and the Storm sitting pretty with a 4-0 record, Melbourne lock Dale Finucane can see the benefits such improvement brings.
"We have been a lot more consistent this year with our possession and with our completion," Finucane told NRL.com.
"Last year we were one of the bottom four sides for completions and we were sort of gritty and just staying in games.
"This year we have started a lot better and our completions have been a lot better, which gives us ruck forwards a lot more energy around the ball. That gives us more energy to push and more energy to have some carries and just in general, be more effective.
"The team aspect has really helped myself and other individuals in the game."
Finucane, who was this year named to share vice-captaincy duties with Jesse Bromwich, has jumped into NSW State of Origin contention with his high standard of play.
Despite being called into the extended squad for the third match of the 2017 series, Finucane said he hadn’t heard from anyone in the Blues camp this year.
"It is something that I would love to do at some stage in my career, but it’s not something at the forefront of my mind," Finucane said.
"My focus is really here and playing well for the Melbourne Storm. I feel like those things will take care of themselves and if that is to be I will welcome the opportunity."